SACRAMENTO, Calif. — UPDATE: According to Chairman Casey, the deadline to enter a statement has been extended to Friday, April 7, 2023.
Many learned about conservatorships because of superstar Britney Spears, but before Spears made headlines, ABC10 was investigating this legal tool impacting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.
Conservatorships, known as guardianships in states outside California, strip someone who is unable to care for themselves of their civil rights and gives them to another person or entity.
Since the ABC10 investigation "The Price of Care" began over three years ago, hundreds of people have continued to reach out looking for help because they're stuck in California's broken conservatorship system.
Now, the United States Senate is asking to hear those stories.
The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is holding a 10 a.m. hearing on March 30. They're asking the public to share their problems and experiences with the legal tool. It will be available to watch live on the Committee's website as well as Chairman Bob Casey's (D-PA) Twitter.
In particular, the committee is seeking input from the public in three areas:
- Stories and examples of problems with conservatorship/guardianship.
- Stories and examples of alternatives to conservatorship/guardianship.
- Suggestions for protecting the rights of people being considered for or currently under conservatorship, guardianship or other protective arrangements.
Statements are asked to be no longer than five pages. The deadline to submit a statement is Thursday, March 23, 2023 to email@example.com
"The Aging Committee elicits comments from the public to be entered into the Congressional record and to assist with understanding the scope of problems related to guardianship and conservatorship," Senator Casey's office said in a statement to ABC10.
Submitted statements have the opportunity to be "highlighted" during the hearing and can be used to "inform the development of future legislation to address the problems and concerns brought to the attention of the Committee," the Senator's office said. "Comments from stakeholders, families and individuals will help the Committee understand experiences of guardianship and conservatorships across states and localities."
To watch Season 1 of ABC10's investigation "The Price of Care" uncovering alarming financial, physical and even sexual abuse happening within general conservatorships of the elderly, click here.
To watch Season 2 "The Price of Care: Taken by the State" investigating limited conservatorships for those with developmental disabilities, click here.